The lobbyists long for the good old days on the mid-2000s. Back when there was no Tea Party, people thought “compassionate conservatism” meant something, when Medicare Part D could be championed by a supposedly conservative president, when a Republican Vice President could say that “deficits don’t matter.” Good times.
And don’t forget all the war spending. Oh my! So many opportunities. So much influence to peddle. So much money to be made.
And though it’s not like the federal teet has withered away, times are tougher in Gucci Gulch these days. Those darn fiscal conservatives, and “constitutionalists” keep squawking every time Congressional leadership wants to spend some dough. These should be fat times for the firms which have long cultivated relationships with John Boehner, Eric Cantor and the rest. Think about all the schmoozing which went into those relationships. But the party crashers are screwing everything up.
Don’t worry folks. The lobbyists will get by, somehow. It might mean putting off the purchase of that Cayenne GTS until next year, but life will go on. And maybe, just maybe, a fit of “bipartisanship” will break out and everyone will be rolling in cash again. More cash anyway.
And, while several downtowners said some companies are reviewing their contract lobbying firms and that many clients have been slow to re-up for 2014, the “always be selling” mentality is already in full effect.
Democratic lobbyist Jimmy Ryan said there is still “opportunity in [a] transitional year to actually get things done” even if it’s unlikely a major corporate tax reform package or grand bargain gains serious traction.
“You can see where there would be common ground between Democrats and Republicans if you were to recognize that the tea party wing won’t be calling the shots anymore,” said noting that legislation like the highway bill contains areas of possible compromise.